While Marvel’s Guardians of The Galaxy Vol. 2 makes extensive use of CGI (given that much of the film takes place in outer space and features copious appearances by otherworldly alien beings), some of its more memorable characters like Nebula, Drax, Yondu and newcomers Mantis and Ayesha are realized primarily through extensive prosthetic makeup effects – which many fans find to offer a greater sense of onscreen verisimilitude but often take a punishingly long time to apply to their respective actors.

And for two of the lead stars of the franchise, their respective makeup processes have been overhauled for the hotly-anticipated sequel. As part of an on-set event attended by Screen Rant and other members of the entertainment press in April of 2016, actors David Bautista (Drax the Destroyer) and Karen Gillan (Nebula) were asked about the status of their famously difficult makeup-application process.

It was hard not to, as just like on our visit to the set of the first movie, both were decked out in full costume and makeup. They looked as they do on screen! As Bautista explained, things have changed – at least for him – since the original installment:

“It’s so easy, you wouldn’t believe it. I’m not kidding. It takes like an hour and a half now. The last one, they got it down to four hours and everyone was celebrating. This, literally they attack me with paint rollers all over. And it looks better too. It looks way better.”

“They just have a completely different process. It took some testing. The problem was it goes on really great and it looks really great, but it’s really hard to get off. They came up with this idea: they stick me in a sauna at the end of the day. [laughs] They literally have to melt it off of me. That was the thing, because during the test we found out it’s so abrasive they literally have to scrub it off of me. So after two days, my skin was like hamburger. So they came up with the sauna thing, and I literally have a portable sauna that travels around with me and I get in at the end of the day, and I get three guys who come in and attack me – nothing weird there. Four guys in a sauna, just being men. [laughs] We talk about football and fighting a lot while we’re in there. [laughs]”

Guardians of the Galaxy Karen Gillan as Nebula Nebula & Draxs Makeup Drastically Improved For Guardians of the Galaxy 2


Gillan (whose makeup demands for Nebula memorably including the glamorous actress having to shave off her hair) also went on the confirm that her process was streamlined – including requiring less extreme hair-removal this time around:

“So we’ve gotten it down to about two and a half hours. And it was five on the last film, so I am happy.”

“[only had to remove] Half of it. I’m half bald under here. So from here to here it’s shaved and then the top is, you know, I have hair. So we met in the middle.”

This must make the talent immensely more pleased with their long days of work, and it’s impressive how much these teams can perfect the processes and designs of these elements from movie-to-movie, something the X-Men franchise also evolved with in dressing up Jennifer Lawrence as the blue-shapeshifting mutant Mystique. Here’s hoping these MCU alien characters return for Guardians of the Galaxy 3 and have an even easier time suiting up for the next adventure.

More: Every Guardians Of The Galaxy 2 Update You Need To Know

Set to the all-new sonic backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage. Old foes become new allies and fan-favorite characters from the classic comics will come to our heroes’ aid as the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to expand.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is written and directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Baby Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock, with Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jonathan Schwartz, Nikolas Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers.